The Snappy API's are inherently secure. In addition to standard API security best practices, Snappy also offers MTLS for enhanced security.
MTLS stands for "Mutual TLS" (Transport Layer Security) and refers to a security mechanism used to secure communication between client and server in the context of an API (Application Programming Interface).
TLS is the successor to SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and provides a secure, encrypted communication channel between two parties over a network. In the case of an API, the client is typically a user, application, or service that wants to interact with the API, and the server is the backend that hosts the API.
In the traditional TLS/SSL setup, the server is authenticated to the client using an SSL certificate, which contains the server's public key. This allows the client to verify the server's identity. However, the client is not always authenticated in this scenario, meaning the server cannot be sure of the client's identity.
MTLS extends the security of TLS by requiring mutual authentication between both the client and the server. In MTLS, both the client and the server present their respective SSL certificates to each other to verify their identities. This means that not only the server authenticates itself to the client, but the client also authenticates itself to the server.
The process of MTLS can be summarized as follows:
The client initiates a connection to the server.
The server presents its SSL certificate to the client for authentication.
The client verifies the server's identity using the SSL certificate.
The client also presents its SSL certificate to the server for authentication.
The server verifies the client's identity using the client's SSL certificate.
Once the mutual authentication is successful, the communication channel is established with a high level of confidence in the identities of both the client and the server. This is particularly useful in scenarios where strict security is required, such as financial transactions, sensitive data exchange, or in microservices architectures where different services need to trust each other before exchanging data.
Implementing MTLS for an API enhances security and helps prevent man-in-the-middle attacks, where an attacker intercepts and impersonates either the client or the server to gain unauthorized access or steal sensitive information.